Another pressure on the Great Barrier Reef is the loss of its sharks through the East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery (ECIFF) just to export fins to produce shark fin soup in Asia. This is having a huge impact on the reef more then any new development. When sharks are overfished, a cascade of effects can lead to a depletion of important grazers of plant life. This is because there are fewer sharks to feed on carnivorous fish that prey on herbivorous fish such as parrotfishes. The loss of these fishes can cause a coral reef to shift from coral to algae dominated with less biodiversity. A loss of sharks also impacts diving tourism as at least 75% of all divers will say they most want to see sharks while diving. This is the reason diving tourism on the Great Barrier Reef is shifting further north to the more pristine Ribbon reefs and out to the Coral Sea. A shark study in Palau by the Australian Institute of Marine Science found that sharks were more valuable alive. And a single reef shark can contribute almost US$2 million in its lifetime to the economy of Palau in diving tourism.
Save The Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is facing its biggest threat todate. Please take a moment to sign the petion at Save The Reef.
Fight for the Reef (update)
Fight for the Reef campaigners said the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt had let down Australians and failed the Reef.
GBRMPA today (31 January) issued a permit to allow three million cubic metres of dredge waste from the expansion of Abbot Point coal port to be dumped in Reef waters.